Did you know that some hair loss comes from wearing wigs or hairstyles that are too tight? Anywhere from a third to half of all Black women suffer from hair loss, but not all hair loss is permanent. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to alleviating symptoms of hair loss, but due to embarrassment or lack of information, alopecia can often go untreated and worsen.
Find out more about what Black women need to know about hair loss below.
Types of Hair Loss
While genetics play a role in one type of hair loss, other types of alopecia can be caused by wearing a wig or styling your hair improperly:
- Traction alopecia —Tight hairstyles like braids or twists pull at the hair roots, causing inflammation and pain. Constant pulling of the hair at the root can cause permanent hair loss.
- Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) — Repetitive use of tight hairstyles, relaxers, and hot combs can cause CCCA. Be sure to get treatment when you see warning signs; otherwise, the hair loss could become permanent.
- Alopecia areata – This type of hair loss is spontaneous and is caused by an autoimmune reaction, resulting in patchy hair within days. There are treatments to help hair grow back, and most people experience a full recovery.
Hair Loss Symptoms
Hair loss can happen gradually, and sometimes it's challenging to recognize that you're losing your hair. But there are some common signs to look for to prevent permanent hair loss, such as:
- Your scalp is more visible
- Your hair doesn’t feel as thick
- You have inflammation or pain
- Small bumps appear at your hairline
If you suspect you have hair loss but aren’t sure, ask your stylist if they notice any abnormalities. You can also make an appointment with your primary care doctor.
Hair Loss Prevention
Though tight hairstyles and wigs can lead to hair loss, there are many ways to prevent traction alopecia and CCCA, including:
- Wear looser styles or go natural
- Remove braids every three months
- Replace weaves and extensions every eight weeks
- Always have a professional apply any chemical processes, such as relaxer and color dyes
- Minimize your exposure to hot styling tools
- Make sure your cap size isn’t too tight
Even though alopecia areata is an autoimmune response, you can take certain precautions against it. Such preventative measures include taking vitamin D supplements, reducing stress when you can, and eating a healthy diet.
Learning what Black women need to know about hair loss can help you treat early signs of alopecia and prevent permanent damage. If you want to give your natural hair a break, check out the loc wigs for sale at Instant Arewa Hair! Explore our blogs to learn more about finding the right cap size and style.